Coreopsis or Tickseed, in one form or another, is a tough plant in my Midwestern garden. Needing little care and with most blooming all summer long, they quickly won a permanent home here.
One of my favorites in the garden this summer has been Coreopsis 'Limerock Dream.'
I always wonder how some cultivars earn their names and seeing this one in full bloom, I think I know. It's an airy cloud of color that greets me each time I walk through the arbor entrance to Max's Garden.
Unfortunately, this particular one isn't hardy here (hardy only in zones 8-10), but its floriferous quality and luscious color assures that I'll be buying it again next spring.
Over the last several years, these have performed well in our clay soil:
I've read that Coreopsis rosea 'American Dreams' will spread well if it's happy. My sister-in-law's in Michigan is proof of that - she has a gorgeous clump of it. Mine must be slightly miffed, because it hasn't really spread much, but it continues to appear each spring and bloom all summer. The blooms are very small - about ¾-inch in diameter. Another one for the front of the border.
Similar to 'Moonbeam,' except with a deeper golden yellow color and reputedly hardier, 'Zagreb' is a vigorous grower.
'Alba' struggles in my garden, which is disappointing to me, because I love its pure white blooms. It's a white twin of 'American Dreams' in size, foliage, and bloom.
I don't care for the golden yellow of a lot of the Coreopsis varieties, but I am a big fan of quilled petals, so 'Jethro Tull' is one of my favorites. In my garden, this isn't a strong grower, but it comes back reliably each spring. This one is a shorter variety, growing only about 6" in height.
I added a few new varieties to the gardens this year, and while they aren't all perennials, I liked each of them well enough that I'll purchase them again when spring rolls around, if need be.
Hardy to zone 4, 'Redshift' went through many different colorations this year. It's supposed to do that, but it never did look like some of the photos I've seen online. Early in the season, it looked like the photo at left.
Later on in the summer, it took on a base color of light yellow (seen in the photo below), and the reddish color changed from magenta to deep brick red. I prefer the latter, because the earlier one looked too much like 'Sweet Dreams.'
One thing is for sure, it's a blooming machine and a bee and butterfly magnet!
One of my very favorites this year has been 'Sienna Sunset.' It has that airy foliage of 'Moonbeam' and a wonderful blend of salmon and yellow colors. The salmon color deepens over the petals, perhaps triggered by temperature or sun exposure. It's been a non-stop bloomer, even without deadheading, and is supposed to be hardy to zone 5.
Finally, a cute little annual that I grew both this year and last, is Coreopsis tinctoria. They're a rich burgundy and have that classic Coreopsis appearance, in miniature, with blooms that are about half an inch in diameter.